The Oz-onomics Podcast
Competition Among Producers of Substitute Goods

Competition Among Producers of Substitute Goods

January 14, 2020

Substitute goods are products that when purchased, there is an alternative product that is being given up in its place. Technological advancements and marketing strategy combine to influence competition and varying rates of success of a company. Opportunity cost intertwines with these topics because individual preference comes down to how the consumer came into contact with the product, their necessity of the product, and how it appeals to them personally. An individual who likes a good, is likely to become a returning customer which is where a firm is going to make a decent percentage of their output. Comparative advantage is when companies produce a product at a lower cost per additional unit than another distributing the same product. Each company has their own motivation to influence the market, and the competition that exists leaves them attempting to appeal to consumers who are only willing to purchase their good/service if the opportunity cost is low and they are giving up the least amount of benefits.

Podcast by: Malcolm Wettering

Transcript: 

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

There is constant competition among producers of substitute goods. For obvious reasons there are whole branches within companies dedicated to marketing strategy and figuring out how to make products the most desirable. Tactics of this include the use of social media, billboards, television commercials, and other advertisements that are came into contact with daily by the public. This is all built around the concept of opportunity cost, which is the benefit being given up when choosing one alternative over another. An example of this occurs with two very successful producers, Bose and Amazon who compete in earbud audio technology. With no sign of a stop in advancements any time soon, there is a constant push for being the best on the market which involves the use of technology that may be unoriginal to the producer. This was the case for Bose when Amazon began using their technology in their newest model. A Bose spokesperson made an announcement that this happened as another way to swing public opinion, which is a marketing strategy in itself. Since the term “benefit” to one person could be a con to another, this makes selling newer models even more difficult because sometimes producers do not fulfill the high hopes of the consumers. This is an ongoing cycle where there are constant improvements made as time progresses. This ensures higher output than what is being put into the economic market to reach these improvements. Competition is good for the market because without it producers would be able to raise their prices which would cause issues for people from every social status. The opportunity cost is comprised of individual preference and how the product can be distinguished from another while still maintaining its true purpose in order to sway a consumer their direction as opposed to competitors. Subtle differences become magnified when a product is compared to its alternatives. I think future advancements will rely less on complex technology and more towards convenience, because the more time that is saved using this good the more desirable it is. Especially considering the type of livelihood that exists among the people of the modern era, where consumers are willing to pay more for products that are easy to use, easy to understand, and allow for the least amount of work the individual has to actually do. Opportunity cost also ensures the appropriate allocation of resources are being used in a world full of scarcity. In order to run efficiently, companies must optimize their resources to make profit. This system works in favor of the consumer and producer because the better that resources are distributed, the cheaper the cost to make the product which in return reduces the price of the product for the consumer. Economics is considered a social science because of the unpredictable human factor. Models can be developed to support different systems of economic thought. The market strategy tends to be based on information at any given moment of time because of the large number of variables that come into play and how quickly information can encourage or discourage consumers. Each individual has their favorite brands and products and the more companies appeal to their target audience, the more likely they are to spread the word and convince others to switch over. This tends to occur frequently because people within social groups share similar wants and needs. For example, outdoorsman are going to discuss their favorite brand with other outdoorsman. Just as chefs would discuss their favorite products with each other in that niche of the market. Complexity is an understatement considering the amount of disagreement that exists between people with extensive economic knowledge. This is because there is more than one way to reach the same goal by exercising various economic policies. Substitute goods describes the predicament when the purchase of one product means not obtaining another. This is important because it explains why businesses are so eager to sell products they believe to be more convenient and better suited for their target crowd than another business with overlapping similarities. I think opportunity cost ties into the sale aspect of the market because the public is going to purchase something when they are giving up the least amount of benefits. It is human nature to want the most out of each dollar spent so each individual can allocate their own resources efficiently depending on their budget. Budget is important because opportunity cost can be based on knowledge of the target consumers income. A lower price is more beneficial than a substitute good at a higher price because if two goods are nearly identical, but one is cheaper than the other, then the cheaper good will likely draw more business. The opportunity cost between consumer goods and their alternatives drives companies producing substitute goods to make the most out of their resources which are always limited to some degree, in order to best please the public. Comparative advantage is involved since some companies are able to produce a good cheaper than another business selling the same good, which will allow for a lower opportunity cost and more output. Trying to constantly please the public may leave a company wondering what they could possibly do next after exhausting ideas because they are already doing the best of their ability. I think that the best option for businesses is to offer incentives to increase the likelihood of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is important to success because returning customers help keep things progressing even when sales are not going as well as predicted for newer products. I think that the combination of efforts between consumers and producers has created a symbiotic relationship where most companies and most people interact with each other in a way that is beneficial to both parties.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Choices Made in College and Beyond

Choices Made in College and Beyond

January 14, 2020

Explaining how scarcity, opportunity costs, and supply and demand affect college students and the world around them. College students spend their money differently from person to person, but the rules are all the same. There is scarcity in resources that make finding jobs difficult, not to mention the stiff competition from the rest of the world. Your choices will always have some kind of costs, it is just up to you to deal with them as you see fit. Supply and demand control the economy, and you are part of it too, so think about who you are and what you will be needed for.

Podcast by Matthew Bailey.

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

Hello, everyone! I am Matt Bailey, and welcome back to our podcast. Today we will be looking at how college students decide to spend their money, and how this affects their spending habits and other aspects of their life. The first thing we will be looking at is a concept known as opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is when you have a choice between two options, say, going to a movie theater or eating at a nice restaurant. If you decide to go to the restaurant, your opportunity cost is the movie you would have seen, and vise-versa. When you are on a limited budget, opportunity cost can be a very, very difficult thing to deal with sometimes. Say, for example, that you really want to do something nice for your friend on their birthday. You want to spend, say $10 on a gift for them, and you only have forty dollars to spend that month. If you do this, your friend will be very happy, but you will have a lot less money to spend on yourself. So here is where the opportunity cost can be hard to achieve and hard to deal with if you had to live on your own. Another big issue, especially for most college students, is the concept of scarcity. Scarcity is the idea that resources are all finite: There are only a certain amount of resources of any given type available to the economy. Let's say, for example, that you are a college student and you have a lot of time on your hands, and you are looking for a part-time job. Unfortunately, more often than not, you'll only be able to find a job on-campus. But then again, there are twenty thousand people just like you that might want a job as well. But let's say you decide to find a job off-campus. Here, you have an even bigger problem, because the rest of the world, city, state, etc., has many people who need jobs as well. If you take it from them to have spending money at college, the person you took the job from may not be able to feed their family for the night. But of course, this is never guaranteed to happen. There are always other jobs out there, not just the cashier position at Spirit Halloween, or the sandwich artist at Subway, or anything like that. There are countless jobs out there, it just depends on specializations, or work availability, scheduling, and above all supply and demand. Supply is the amount of resources or products or services that are available in the economy, and demand is as the name suggests: How much it is needed or wanted at that moment in time. Let's say for example that there is a job opening up for a new supermarket. There are a lot of job opportunities there, which means a lot of demand for people to apply for work. So let's suppose that they were looking for young adults or teenagers (aka college students) to fill out their more mundane tasks like cashiers or stock boys. If the supermarket decided on this course of action, they would have an opportunity cost of the people not in college, for example, the unemployed men and women in the city they are currently in. But, they are also aware that the supply of college students who need a job is also very high. So, this is where the balance can be maintained. Now, this also ties back into scarcity: Because there are only so many positions available at this supermarket, there are only so many people that can get jobs at that place. Now, do you want to get the job, or do you think your friend needs it more? You have two options: One, you could let your friend get the job, help him pay his bills, put food on the table, get the books he needs for class, things like that. However, if you do this, you won't have any money for yourself to spend on free time, or for your own books or doing personal maintenance for things. Weighing your options and making these decisions is possibly the most difficult choice that college students have to make. There are many more like them, but this is all we had time for right now, so thank you for listening, and I will see you again next time. Buh-bye!

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Hunting Meets Economics

Hunting Meets Economics

January 14, 2020

Hi, my name is Tyler Rogan and today I will be discussing a few real life economic topics regarding hunting. The topics I will be discussing are the overall hunting market, opportunity cost, demand and supply, price elasticity, sunk costs, scarcity, and cost of production.

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

Hi, my name is Tyler Rogan and today I will be discussing a few real life economic topics regarding hunting. The topics I will be discussing are the overall hunting market, opportunity cost, demand and supply, price elasticity, sunk costs, scarcity, and cost of production. To open this podcast up I would like to shed light on hunting as a whole, us hunters are bigger conservationists than people think. For example, throughout the year we attend multiple sporting outings, dinners, and fundraising events. With all proceeds going directly into habitat conservation and game and wildlife management. Not to mention in order to hunt any type of waterfowl game you must purchase a $25 dollar duck stamp with proceeds going directly back into conservation. With that said the sport of hunting is about comradery, friendship and great eating, as well as taking from the land while also giving back. Hunting is a very seasonal sport, in fact it’s pretty much a fall sport with a big break in the winter, eventually opening up to a smaller season with spring turkey and squirrel.That being said let’s start by discussing the funny but true topic in opportunity cost associated with the sport of hunting. Let’s be real as an avid hunter even I recognize that our opportunity cost is among some of the biggest. The hours or even days we spend in the woods or swamps could be time used working overtime or studying. Our decision to go hunting results in a significant loss in money due to our unique opportunity cost. Many people I know often skip class or find excuses for work that morning to hunt……. It’s addicting. The overall market of hunting varies due to the changing seasons for example as soon as fall hits all brands and retail stores go full price frendzy mode. Deer season, turkey season, and waterfowl season are the big ones that cause hunters flock to stores for new ammunition and this years new gear. Then once winter hits stores slowly start to mark down gear and ammunition from 5-10% in the winter to 50% in the summer. Yes turkey loads and turke gear goes up in the spring but besides that all other hunting gear typically stays 5-10% off due the lowered demand. Which brings me to my next point in supply and demand. Obviously the supply triples two weeks before fall being at the peak of demand for the whole year. The demand increases due to the upcoming anticipation of upcoming deer and waterfowl season. Often times the surplus of gear and ammunition in hopes for a huge push in the fall always leads to a surplus in the spring in summer causing every hunters dream and huge price reduction to low demand and with a surplus supply. Leading to the topic of price elasticity with the changing seasons of hunting causing price elasticity to be all over the place just like I mentioned for the supply and demand. Price will be high in season Fall and spring, while falling low in price during the summer and peak of winter when no season for hunting is open. As far as cost of production hunting gear tends to typically be a little higher since a lot of brands stand behind “American Made” items. For example all of Remmington guns and ammunition is made in America. Where if they outsourced some of their production to overseas the cost of production and retail prices might be lower. Although I myself would rather the items be made in America to help our economy. Another funny topic for hunters is the sunk costs associated with our very expensive sport. Think about all the shots you miss especially as a waterfowl hunter the amount of shot shells that you miss is considered a very considerably expensive sunk costs. With box of shells retailing around 30 dollars. Now to talk about a very controversial topic for hunters and the government agencies in charge of changing seasonal bag limits for waterfowl and upland game. This year the waterfowl limit for geese went from 5 birds to 2 a day. While the duck limit changed from 4 birds to 2 this year. This is a direct result of scarcity which has been going on for years now, which is the reason I say controversial. Limits do need to be reduced but it is less fun and irritating to avid hunters. When I was 12 years old bag limits used to be 7-12 birds a person. This podcast “Hunting meets Economics” was a real life example and in my opinion a great way to better understand very important topics for Economics. Thank you I hope you enjoyed.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Where Will the Children Go?

Where Will the Children Go?

January 14, 2020

There is a severe daycare shortage in NY, and in the rest of the country. There is too demand, and not enough supply, putting NY on the edge of a daycare desert. There are a few different ways to end, or at least lessen the shortage, such as government subsidies to open more centers, hire new teachers, and help parents afford the very high daycare rates. This would also help put money back into the economy, since more parents would be able to return to work, or even return to work full time without having to worry about childcare.

Podcast by: Elizabeth Evans

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Evans. And the title of my podcast is where will the children go? This podcast will discuss the shortage of day here in New York State and throughout the rest of the country. And then we'll also discuss some of the reasons for the daycare shortage and different ways that the daycare shortage could be remedied and we can provide enough supply of daycare for all of the children in need. Right now, in New York, we are in the midst of a daycare shortage. This service about 25 years ago, and supply of daycare has continued to be an issue ever since. According to child care solutions, which is a nonprofit organization that provides information and resources to parents, daycare providers, employers and the community. New York is currently facing a daycare desert. A daycare desert is when three or more children are competing for one open spot in a daycare entity here desert the demand is too high while the supply is too low, which creates issues mortgage demand in New York continues to grow, especially for children aged infants and toddlers. There are many reasons for the lack of supply and in turn the shortage of daycare. One reason for a lack of supply is the lack of facilities. There are not enough physical centers to cater to the number of children in need. facilities are also closing because they don't have the money to maintain them to standards and the state will not re license them to care for children. There is also a shortage of teachers in New York state and across the country, especially qualified teachers. daycare is run on numbers, meaning that they have a certain number of teachers that they are required to have to meet the number of children and every single classroom. The numbers for each classroom changes depending on the age of the children, meaning that infants are lower numbers for children per teachers, while ages such as preschool or school age have higher numbers per teacher. Having an adequate number of teachers is a necessity to meet the demand of all of the children that need to be enrolled in daycares. One issue with teachers is they are not taking the jobs or they are leaving the jobs quickly at daycares because of the very low pay and the difficult working conditions. Without a know teachers daycares cannot fill all of their available spots. Another cause of the shortage is a lack of maternity leave for women. This creates a much higher demand for infant and toddler care. And there are not enough infant and toddler spots for the families in need. If maternity leave could be extended for women, they wouldn't need keras early and they could enroll their children at an older age, possibly even at a preschool age where there is more space and more children can be in each classroom so there's more available spots. Lastly, since the services in such high demand and the supply is so limited, the cost has been driven up so high that it's been unaffordable for a large part of the population. Right now the average cost of Indian keras $15,000 a year, which a lot of families cannot afford. The amount of daycare should be capped at about seven to 9% of income, making it more affordable for families. In this situation, there could also be government subsidies that they could be given to daycares to help them open new facilities, or hire more teachers. So that way there could be more supply while the demand stays same. This will also allow them to maintain their facilities, and then that way they could enroll more children. It will help the lack of supply and hopefully and the shortage if not at least lessen the shortage. The low amount of supply that it has been available lately has driven the price higher and higher for daycares. And since they are not regulated. Most daycares can charge whatever they want to If you were to use demand side policies rather than supply side, it would make more sense to focus on the demand rather than the supply and lowering the prices would help that. Along with the government subsidies to help the daycares expand and allow for more available spots. Increasingly, supply of daycare can also allow more parents to go back to work. By not putting procedures in place to increase the supply. The country is suffering a very large opportunity cost, while the subsidies that are bit that would be given to daycares make hospital government money. Right now, it is costing the country about $6.8 billion a year and that economy due to the lack of child care and the spillover effect of that if the government were to put money into daycares and give them subsidies such as opening new facilities or hiring more teachers, so that they could have more available spots. It would allow more people to go back to work. And it would definitely lessen that impact on the economy. Rather than putting their money into things such as food stamps or welfare, any other welfare programs, which they are already spending a lot of money on. If they were to give the money to daycares it would allow more people to go back to work and it would be a huge economic driver. This way, the supply of daycare would be higher, the demand would be lower and it would hopefully end the day here shortage across the country.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Smartphones and the Global Market

Smartphones and the Global Market

January 14, 2020

Smartphones are everywhere, or so we in the United States like to think. In many regions across the globe, high-end smartphones (such as Apple's iPhones) are not deemed as necessitates, and thus have a higher elasticity as a product. What does this mean for the demand of smartphones worldwide, and how does this impact the products of smartphone companies?

Podcast by Nicky Radford.

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

My name is Nicky Radford, and in this episode, we’ll be discussing smartphones, their price elasticity (or lack thereof), and how their market is more than meets the eye. In the modern world, smartphones seem like a necessity. We live in a society that needs to have everything right at our fingertips. Information needs to come faster than it came yesterday. As such, smartphones have become more and more in demand, and the supply is matching that. At least, that’s what the assumption would be. It’s not as clear cut when you look at it from another perspective. The smartphone market, like all markets, is rather complex, and dissecting it can lead to a greater understanding of our economic landscape. Let’s discuss the market for smartphones. According to an article from the Pew Research Center, 81% of adults in the United States own a smartphone of some kind as of February 2019. One may assume that means that demand is increasing, but in actuality, the demand for purchasing a new smartphone has steadily decreased, as fewer and fewer Americans are without a smartphone. Those that do rarely purchase the upgraded version when it immediately comes out; they may wait a few generations, or keep the smartphone they bought at the outset and keep it until it is no longer usable. This is to say that while smartphones are becoming a greater constant in our world, the market for smartphones is reaching a plateau, since the number of those without one or needing to upgrade one is shrinking. When in the market for a new smartphone, there’s plenty to consider: brand recognition and reputation, hardware specifications, brand-exclusive features, and more. But where the consideration really begins is the price. The unfortunate fact is that many of the latest and up-to-date smartphones cost significantly more than what they used to, which can make it challenging for a consumer to afford the product, which can affect their desire and demand for it. Let’s take a look at the two largest smartphone companies on the planet: Apple and Samsung. From an American perspective, it may appear that Apple is the dominating smartphone brand. With every annual iPhone release, it seems that Apple consumers are craving a new model. No matter the price, people are in need for a high-end smartphone. From this lens, it seems the demand is high, and the price elasticity of demand is fairly inelastic. A significant price difference between the newest iPhone and the previous one does not seem to sway Apple’s target demographics. However, the same cannot be said for other regions across the globe. According to an article from Computerworld, “Except for North America and in Asia or Pacific nations, Apple saw iPhone demand weaken in most areas, including in greater China, where its market share dropped from 14.6% [Note: I wrongly said 16.6% in the audio] in [the Fourth Quarter in 2017] to 8.8% this past quarter. For 2018 as a whole, iPhone sales were down 2.7%, [which was] just over 209 million units.” In America specifically, the market for iPhones seems to be coasting well. For much else of the world, people are looking toward alternative options. The price elasticity in regions such as Europe and Africa is likely more elastic than that of North America. In those regions, high-end smartphones may not be seen as necessities in the way North America sees them, and thus consumers in those regions are willing to seek substitute goods. Another way to look at it is that high-end smartphones are seen as a normal good in North America, but a luxury good in other regions. A higher income may result in a greater demand for high-end smartphones, but a consumer with a lower income may be more comfortable with what they can afford. The demand for smartphones is present in all regions, but a significant price may convince consumers to seek out an inferior good due to their budget, such as a less expensive smartphone or a non-smart cellular device. Now, let’s look at Samsung, the other top dog of smartphone sales. Globally, Samsung is the actual leading brand, as they produce smartphones beyond one high-end product line; they offer mid-priced smartphones as well. Samsung recognizes that the price elasticity of smartphone demand can be much more elastic in different regions, and so to remain competitive they offer products in the same market at different prices. This breadth in the market may be enticing to some consumers, leading them to choose Samsung. So what does this mean for smartphones and the companies that make them? Well, Apple’s plan seems to be to keep making high-end iPhones, with upgraded features and higher prices with every new release. In America, that seems to be no issue at all, but they run into trouble in other regions over time. As for Samsung, their strategy is likely going to keep them as the global giant that they are, so long as no competing companies gain more share in the market. How much these two companies are prioritizing the elasticity of smartphones will continue to be a factor in the products they produce, and may impact their demand in the future. Thanks for listening.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

The Deadweight Loss of Gift Giving

The Deadweight Loss of Gift Giving

January 14, 2020

The purpose of this podcast is to inform listeners of the deadweight loss of holiday gift giving. It discusses how gift giving takes away purchasing power from a consumer which in turn results in the deadweight loss. If a consumer doesn’t value the gift at the actual price spent on it, there can be a lot of “wasted” money in the gift exchange process. Listen to this podcast to learn why giving cash and gift cards isn’t a bad idea for the holidays, especially if you don’t know the gift receiver well.

Podcast by: Mallory Jennings

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

Hello, my name is Casey Stewart and todays podcast will be about how managers come to making decisions in the workplace. We will discuss how they use what’s called marginal analysis. I chose this topic because I am a business administration major and I enjoy being part of the decision making processes for the companies I have and am currently working for. Let me explain marginal analysis…. Marginal analysis is a look at the additional benefits of a decision compared to the additional costs of that same decision. Basically what am I gaining? And what am I losing? Lots of companies use marginal analysis to make big decisions within their companies. One of them being the hiring process. They look at potential employees and say to themselves what good will this employee bring to the table? or What sets them apart from the next person walking through that door? Then they ask themselves, well how much is this person going to want to get paid for their contributions to the company? If the gain of the employee’s labor is more than the cost of their compensation, this is a good rational decision. The word marginal refers to the focus on the benefit of the next person walking through the door or the profit earned by adding another employee. Marginal means when one unit is added then what change does it bring to the result or to the company. When companies use marginal analysis they compare the costs and potential benefits of their business activities or financial decisions. Take my company Spectrum for example. This month were going through our “annual” (and I air quote annual) rate adjustments. Yes they raised the price of internet yet again. This is a great example of marginal analysis. They weighed the benefit of getting more money to the cost of potentially losing customers. They want to focus on making their infrastructure better. In order to accomplish this, they need more funds. They see the cost of losing customers for now being less than the benefit of making their internet faster and more reliable. Were talking 10G in the future people! Businesses need to also understand the concept of marginal costs. Marginal costs are the increase in total cost as a result of producing one extra unit. In reference to the example of the price of internet increasing, the company’s marginal cost is the cost of one customer leaving us to go with another provider for internet. The company raised the cost of internet $5 a month, knowing they could lose a customer that is currently paying $70.99 a month for internet. Now in the short run they know that the price increase of the internet will cause some customers to leave. They know that some will stay even though they increased the cost due to the internet being a much needed amenity. In the long run they believe that those customers will return to company knowing that they are very competitively priced and they offer the best service in regards to speed and reliability. In the example of hiring employees the marginal cost of hiring the more experienced employee who is asking for more money, is the amount of money the company will lose when they hire that employee versus someone asking for a less amount but with less experience. Marginal analysis is the process of breaking down decisions into yes or no smaller choices. That’s what economics is right? All about the choice we make in the case of scarcity because we don’t have enough resources that we desire. I’m going to end on this note. In regards to the hiring processes, managers make their decisions using marginal analysis. They look at who has the degree, who has the most experience, who has the most extra curricular activities and volunteer efforts that developed them as a productive member of society? I encourage you all to get this degree, to make yourself better in any way you can. Attend workshops and do internships. All of this will set you apart from the next potential employee. Managers weigh the options of hiring using marginal analysis where they ask themselves is the benefit of gaining this particular employee worth the cost of compensation they are asking for? Think about it! Thanks for listening and I hope I resonated with all of you. I hope you have a great day!

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

How Managers Make Decisions in the Workplace

How Managers Make Decisions in the Workplace

January 14, 2020

In this podcast, Casey Stewart explores how managers use marginal analysis to make big decisions in the workplace. She also discusses marginal cost and how managers weigh the options of the decisions they make. Her examples are the hiring process as well as the decision to raise prices.

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

Hello, my name is Casey Stewart and todays podcast will be about how managers come to making decisions in the workplace. We will discuss how they use what’s called marginal analysis. I chose this topic because I am a business administration major and I enjoy being part of the decision making processes for the companies I have and am currently working for. Let me explain marginal analysis…. Marginal analysis is a look at the additional benefits of a decision compared to the additional costs of that same decision. Basically what am I gaining? And what am I losing? Lots of companies use marginal analysis to make big decisions within their companies. One of them being the hiring process. They look at potential employees and say to themselves what good will this employee bring to the table? or What sets them apart from the next person walking through that door? Then they ask themselves, well how much is this person going to want to get paid for their contributions to the company? If the gain of the employee’s labor is more than the cost of their compensation, this is a good rational decision. The word marginal refers to the focus on the benefit of the next person walking through the door or the profit earned by adding another employee. Marginal means when one unit is added then what change does it bring to the result or to the company. When companies use marginal analysis they compare the costs and potential benefits of their business activities or financial decisions. Take my company Spectrum for example. This month were going through our “annual” (and I air quote annual) rate adjustments. Yes they raised the price of internet yet again. This is a great example of marginal analysis. They weighed the benefit of getting more money to the cost of potentially losing customers. They want to focus on making their infrastructure better. In order to accomplish this, they need more funds. They see the cost of losing customers for now being less than the benefit of making their internet faster and more reliable. Were talking 10G in the future people! Businesses need to also understand the concept of marginal costs. Marginal costs are the increase in total cost as a result of producing one extra unit. In reference to the example of the price of internet increasing, the company’s marginal cost is the cost of one customer leaving us to go with another provider for internet. The company raised the cost of internet $5 a month, knowing they could lose a customer that is currently paying $70.99 a month for internet. Now in the short run they know that the price increase of the internet will cause some customers to leave. They know that some will stay even though they increased the cost due to the internet being a much needed amenity. In the long run they believe that those customers will return to company knowing that they are very competitively priced and they offer the best service in regards to speed and reliability. In the example of hiring employees the marginal cost of hiring the more experienced employee who is asking for more money, is the amount of money the company will lose when they hire that employee versus someone asking for a less amount but with less experience. Marginal analysis is the process of breaking down decisions into yes or no smaller choices. That’s what economics is right? All about the choice we make.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

 

Ozzortunity Costs

Ozzortunity Costs

December 11, 2019

I explain the concept of Opportunity Cost. I break down the general meaning of it, and the economics meaning of it. I also provide examples of each. Lastly, I break it down on how Oswego Students like myself use the opportunity cost concept without even realizing it.

Podcast creator: Michael Kolawale.

Transcript:

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

 

Hi, everyone. My name is Michael Kolawole, I will be your host for today on the first ever edition of OZnomics where Economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand, where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. Here on Oznomics, we break economics in a way you can understand, where you need another alternative to understand your economic class. Now I call that a substitute good. *Laughs in the background* So, for the first episode which is called Ozzortunity Cost is going to be all revolved around the concept of Opportunity Cost and how we use it everyday in our lives. It’s one of the most basics concepts of economics yet some may have a trouble understanding it. First, In order to examine how it is used in our everyday life, you must first examine what it is. Now get out your pen, your paper, your pencil, or take out your phone and use the notes app. We first begin with the definition. Definition: Now, to keep it short and sweet, Opportunity Cost is what you give up to get, what you give up to buy for other goods or services. Now if an economist were to say what is Opportunity Cost? They would tell you it is the value of the next best alternative. So, pretty much opportunity cost is used to indicate what must be given up to obtain something that is desired. Everything has an opportunity cost. It does not matter what it is. Opportunity Cost is simply all around us. You can’t escape it at all. Now that we know the definition, now we understand basically the fundamentals go Opportunity Cost. Now, let’s give you some guys some examples to further understand it. Examples: Let say it’s Wednesday in Oswego and on a late Wednesday night it is considered Wing night in Oswego, but you see you missed it. You missed late night because of a meeting. Mind you, you have not eaten all day at all. Being as though you don’t want to spend on your own money on food, you're faced on deciding what to do, what to eat with your dining dollars. Sub Shop being closed leaves you with two choices to get food on GET FOOD. The two choices are: Domino’s or Wonzones. Now if you choose to get Domino’s, you give up the opportunity to get Wonzones. Now if you choose to get Wonzones, you give up the opportunity to get Domino’s. Wether you choose Domino’s or Wonzones regardless if you picked one of them, your giving up the opportunity to not get the other and that is Opportunity Cost in it’s basic form. However, what if I told you everything you did throughout that Wednesday in Oswego you basically did it with Opportunity Cost in mind and you might not have thought about it but that’s whatcha did throughout the day, making Opportunity Costs. Let me explain. So, On Wednesday I have an 8AM class In Lanigan I know that The bus leaves in the Middle of Waterbury and Riggs at around 7:45AM. So, I developed a routine of mine to wake up at 6:45am every morning. I spend around 20 minutes showering brushing my teeth which makes me done at approximately 7:05am. I spend another 20 minutes eating to makes me done at 7:25am. I spend another 15 minutes getting ready packing up stuff for class and just stuff I need to do throughout the day which takes 15 minutes to do and I finish it around 7:40am. That leaves me with about 5 minutes to catch the bus at 7:45am. It takes 2 minutes for the bus to get to Lanigan Hall for class and it takes 1 minute for me to get to class when I arrive in the building. So, I arrive in the actual classroom at 7:48am which is 12 minutes early before the 8am start time of class. Now the opportunity cost sometimes I always consider of: Do I have to necessarily go to class? No not really. See if I decide to not go to class. I gain more sleep. That’s what I gain from that. However, I give up learning the material covered in that class for that day. Now, being as though I want an A in the class and I believe hardwork is the way that hardwork Is just the better way and if I’m paying for class I might as well get what I put in. I believe that it worth me giving up more sleep and going to class and getting the A I rightfully deserve. To me that is the best opportunity cost I can make as opposed to skipping class and gaining more sleep which is also an Opportunity Cost. Now, Opportunity Cost is also one of those things you can do mathematically. Opportunity Cost does not necessarily mean it’s always a numerical thing but it can be. It also can be calculated. Let’s say I want to get more sleep and I decide to wake up at 7:30am. So, I don’t necessarily miss class… I can make it to class. However it would take me a little bit longer to get ready and do the stuff I know I should be doing if I wake up at 6:45am. So I decide the next best alternative is to rush to get to class. Since being as though I woke up at 7:30am. I rush to shower eat a pop tart simply brush my teeth and get dressed and I finish all this by 7:52pm. The bus is already gone so I have to walk it. I walk to class which is about a six minute walk from Waterbury & Lanigan which also accounts for arriving to the building and finding the class room). I arrive to class at & 7:58am which is still early But I normally arrive there at 7:48am. So My Question is? How much time did I give up on making sure I am properly prepared and being early if I just woke up when I am supposed too as opposed to giving my body more sleep. So we first write on our papers: 7:30am (which was the time I got up late Then we write - 6:45am (which was the time I normally get up) So if you minus 7:30am - 6:45am you should get 45 minutes. So I gave up 45 minutes of prep time to sleeping. That being said but because I woke up late at at 7:30am and I arrived to class late at 7:58am. If I woke up on time at 6:45am and did my normal routine I would have arrived at class at 7:48am. So when it comes to figuring out how much time I gave up to arrive earlier we do 7:58am - 7:48am and it gives us 10 minutes. So I gave up an additional 10 minutes to arrive early because I woke up late at 7:30am. Outro: Now to conclude this for all my proud lakers out there remember Opportunity Cost is a choice in your everyday life you are responsible for making wether it is good or bad. It is the next best alternative and it is what we give up to get. I hope with the explanation and the examples of Opportunity Cost blending in with the Life of an Oswego Student you furthered understood the concept. This is Oz-onomics and I’m your host Michael Kolawole and I look forward to helping your understanding of economics easier next time.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

 The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Berrynomics

Berrynomics

December 11, 2019

In this podcast we discuss the seasonal nature of strawberries, and how the local harvest season affects supply & demand for imported berries, along with other economic principles.

This podcast was created by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff.

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

K: Hey Gabby!

G: Hey Kate!

K: What do you want to apply economic principles to today?

G: How about food?

K: Need it to live!

G: Any particular kind of food?

K: Hmmm, how ‘bout fruit?

G: Let’s narrow it down a little more… K: Strawberries?

G: Yeah! Strawberries are my jam! *punchline cymbal crash*

K: What do we know about strawberries, aside from the fact that they’re delicious?

G: Well, here in Upstate New York, the strawberry growing season is very short…just a few weeks from mid-June to early July.

K: Thanks to modern refrigeration and transportation technology, we can import them from other areas to enjoy year-round, if we’re so inclined.

G: Well, are we so inclined?

K: Well, here’s a good time to talk about supply and demand. The laws of demand discuss the inverse relationship between price and quantity demanded, while all other variables remain constant. If this was the case, we’d be consuming the same amount of strawberries in December as we do in June…but we don’t do that, because all other variables aren’t constant. There are other factors that affect demand, such as tastes and preferences. In the case of Upstate NY consumers such as ourselves, strawberries are traditionally a summer item, so that’s when we want them most, even though we can get them year-round.

G: That’s not to say that we don’t take advantage of our ability to import…New Yorkers want more strawberries during the summer months than we can produce.

K: Let’s forget about our local harvest for a minute and shift our focus out west to California. They have a 12-month growing season, and 91% of the country’s strawberries are produced there.

G: As the weather warms up in New York, people get strawberries on the mind, and the demand curve shifts to the right, increasing the quantity of strawberries demanded at any price. This is when the berry section at the supermarket starts to take center stage. K: So things are going great…we want berries, they have berries, we buy them…everyone’s happy. So what happens when the New York harvest is ready?

G: Have you ever tasted a locally grown, fresh strawberry? K: Ah, there’s nothing like it! They are sweeter than candy, and they’re dirt cheap! The local variety are tastier and less expensive. So during the three-ish weeks that these are available, demand for the imports drops.

G: Hold on, if people want the local strawberries instead of the California strawberries, does that mean that the imports are an inferior good?

K: Not so fast! You and I might think local strawberries are superior for many reasons, but in economic terms, an inferior good is described as a product or service for which demand decreases when incomes rise, and that’s not the case here. Local strawberries are cheaper, remember?

G: That’s right! Let’s talk about why. We’ll start by considering costs of production, such as resources to grow, labor, packaging, and distribution. That last one’s a biggie. Think about how much more it costs to get a strawberry to your house from a farm in California versus a local farm.

K: Furthermore, local farms can save on labor and distribution costs by selling at farmstands and offering a U-Pick option, in addition to selling berries at the supermarket.

G: So how does the import market respond to this?

K: Think about how it would look on a graph. The availability of the local berries shifts the demand curve for imported berries to the left, lowering the equilibrium price. This basically means that while the New York berries are available, the stores can’t get away with charging as much for the California berries, so California supplies fewer of them.

G: After the short but sweet New York harvest season, the demand curve for imports shifts back to the right, prices rise again, and so does the quantity supplied. What other factors can affect price? K: What about scarcity?

G: Imagine if New York had an unusually dry summer, which affected our strawberry harvest. This would create a situation in which the quantity supplied is less than the quantity demanded. This creates a shortage, which drives the price up. K:

A weather event would likely affect all local produce, but if the shortage were somehow limited to just strawberries, you might start to see a greater demand for substitute products such as blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.

G: So there you have it! Next time you’re in the produce aisle, you might think of those delicious little berries in a whole new light! K: And we’ll leave you on that note. I’m Kate Soanes! G: I’m Gabby Schaff. K: Take care!

G: Bye!

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Scare-city

Scare-city

December 1, 2019

The United States is suffering from what some would call an epidemic: food scarcity. One of the most influential countries in the world can barely feed its own people. In this podcast we discuss food insecurity, food deserts, and what it means to feed a family in America today. Have you ever thought about where your food comes from?

This episode was created by Erin Geraghty.

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

ERIN: Are healthy Foods expensive? Or is that a giant excuse for not eating right? Are Americans just conveniently bypassing the produce department for frozen food aisles that are full preservatives? Did you Know It costs around $500 to join a gym in a year? Let's talk about that. As a college student, it was almost expected of me to gain 15 to 20 pounds in my freshman year. However, I did not, because I found healthy alternatives that SUNY Oswego provided for me. For the average college student, let alone American, this is not always the case. Not every person in the United States knows where their food will be coming from for every dinner, assuming they even eat every night. Some Americans have to decide if going hungry for a day or two is worth keeping their heat on or paying rent on time. We've all heard the classic trope of the poor college student who needs to eat ramen for every meal because they can't afford spinach. But why is that? How come in one of the most powerful countries in the world people are suffering because they cannot afford food. Some neighborhoods only have their local McDonald's or Burger King to provide sustenance. Have you ever heard of a food desert? Okay, so a food desert is an urban area in which difficult to buy affordable or good quality fresh produce or food. Our supply and demand graph is not made up of beef farmers and millionaires. It's made up of cheap food and single mothers who have four children. Sometimes that 4 for 20 deal, it's just too good to pass up. And in this case, mom goes to bed hungry. We'd like to think that humans are rational and they think rationally and the rational thought would be eat because dying of starvation will effectively ruin any chances of paying attention a phone bill on time. Again, we'd like to think that. Behavioral economics knows that humans are not simple and will not abide by a simple supply and demand graph. People are inherently irrational and when it comes to economics, they think with their hearts and sometimes that goes against economic thinking. Say there's this girl and her name is Jane. She has $10 and she can buy one dozen donuts from Dunkin' Donuts or she can make the healthier decision to buy about two or two and a half bunches of asparagus. Jane's opportunity cost of spending all her money on asparagus will be that she's not full as soon. So, this will result in her eating more and more of her bunches of unseasoned asparagus. Her opportunity cost of spending all of her money on donuts is losing out on vital vitamins and nutrients that will keep her healthy. The cost effective choice is obviously not the healthy one. In addition, Jane buying a dozen donuts honestly tastes better. Who wakes up every day and thinks "Yes, I want to eat four stems of asparagus that will keep me happy and healthy all day." No one. Jane could easily walk into her local Dunkin' Donuts in order two jellies, a Boston cream, chocolate glazed cake and so on and so on and eat these for days and days in a row without ever getting bored. It's time for a change in America. In order to get pretty fresh and appetizing produce the produce must be hand harvested, and this adds to the final price of the product. This is why the term food desert is growing every day and becoming part of the American reality. Have you ever seen this documentary Supersize Me? It's about a guy named Morgan Spurlock. He ate only McDonald's three times a day breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days to see the effects on American citizens. He was able to spend less than $15 a day and still double the recommended calorie count every day. Imagine that... spending 15 to 20 bucks a day and getting completely full. He gained 24 pounds increased his body mass by 13% and increased his cholesterol to 230 milligrams. It took him over nine months to lose the weight on a strict vegan diet and rigorous workout routine. Economically, this makes complete sense. It's completely rational. But health wise, it's obviously not. In my opinion, I think the United States needs to implement a sugar tax much like our neighbors across the pond. In the UK and many other areas of Europe, you can't just buy a plain Pepsi without a substantial tax tacked  on and then making the product much more expensive. This would force non-essential foods to be less available to the average person. In order to stay in business, supermarkets should then lower their healthier foods and offer rebates to their produce providers to give them more healthy foods and larger quantities. I mean, I'm vegetarian, and I have a really, really hard time trying to buy food for myself because I don't eat red meat or I don't eat chicken. And for some reason broccoli is $20 and I could just go get a burger that's pumped full of hormones and a cow that's been unjustly killed just to feed a person that they've never met. Why am I being punished for wanting to live a healthier... a humane lifestyle? Why does Oswego have three Dunkin Donuts I will never understand. But children who get a free lunch at school are honestly getting more vitamins than their parents on an average work day.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

 
The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

Show notes

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/plotsummary http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/usda-defines-food-deserts

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